What. Is. Wrong. With. People? Seriously, sometimes I wonder what is wrong with people’s heads. I think the only thing worse than intentionally inflicting pain on another person is then trying to deny or excuse it, or worse -- blaming the victim. But that might be what’s happening in the Steubenville rape case that has the nation watching.
Two high school football players, Ma’Lik Richmond (16) and Trent Mays (17), will face a judge on Wednesday for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl who might have been so passed out drunk that she couldn't even walk. The defense lawyers claim that by not saying ‘no,’ the girl gave her consent for sex.
It’s almost too unfathomable to believe, but one of the boy’s attorney’s, Walter Madison, apparently said, “There’s an abundance of evidence here that she was making decisions, cognitive choices … she didn't affirmatively say no.”
But wait, there’s more. Of course there’s more. Feel free to roll your eyes in disgust at this next line from the lawyer, in response to the victim not testifying in court:
The person who is the accuser here is silent just as she was that night, and that's because there was consent.
Just … wow. Multiple people at the party in question have stated for the record that the girl was so drunk that she threw up at least twice and had trouble walking and talking. She was also photographed being carried by the two young men now being charged with sexual assault.
Is going to a party in high school and getting so drunk you pass out a bad idea? Sure! Of course. But it in no way, shape, or form excuses the deplorable actions that these boys are accused of committing. We shouldn't have to teach our boys that violating girls is acceptable if they’re too passed out to say no! Have some common sense, and for cripe’s sake, if you make a drunken mistake at a party, own up to it like a man and don’t try to cast the blame on your victim.
My heart breaks for this girl, who witnesses say was way too far gone to realize what was happening to her, let alone give consent. Now she has to hear that it’s somehow her fault? It is not her fault if she really was practically passed out. It is never your fault when someone does anything to you without your consent or when you somehow incapacitated -- especially if it’s a sexual or violent act.
Do you think this defense is feasible or deplorable?
Image via Victor/Flickr